Semper Solaris | Guide to the Top Roofing Materials | Southern California Roofers

Top Roofing Materials

Your Guide to the Top Roofing Materials

If you are getting ready for a roofing project, whether a complete overhaul of an old roof or a new construction project, knowing the best materials for the job is crucial. That’s why Semper Solaris has provided you with a guide to understanding the pros and cons of some of the top roofing materials out there, from your classic shingle tiles to modern metal roofing options.

Concrete & Clay Tiles

A California classic, clay and concrete tiles are known to add elegance, texture, and style. While classic clay tiles are very heavy (and durable as well) and more expensive, concrete tiles can be used as a more affordable alternative. Either option provides homeowners with a stylized look and long-lasting roofing materials, averaging 40 to 50 years. Concrete tiles are actually energy efficient, providing more incentives for homeowners. These perks do come with the added cost of specially trained labor (due to the heavier weight and complicated installation).

Asphalt Shingles

Known to be one of the most used for homes, asphalt shingles are a classic choice. Why? These shingles are very affordable and rather straightforward to install. They also are available in a range of colors to suit a homeowner’s specific style preferences. The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is anywhere from 20 to 25 years, making it one of the shorter lifespans, and also doesn’t offer as much insulation as other, more durable roofing materials typically do.


A more unique option, slate roofing is known for being durable, sustainable, and beautiful. Color options can range from green, red, black, and more, giving homeowners flexibility to create their ideal Colonial or European style chateau home. While being very sturdy, slate is also very heavy and can require additional framing. The cost for slate is also typically higher than other more basic roofing materials. However, slate roofs are known to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, boasting great durability.

Metal Roofing

Both a modern and classic appeal, metal roofing can be stylized in a variety of ways, from contemporary to rustic. This material holds up very well in harsh weather conditions, whether in the form of panels or shingles. Homeowners can choose from copper, zinc, aluminum, and stainless steel for their metal roof. While metal roofing can be more expensive, it does offer great solar reflectance and tends to last longer than asphalt options.

Synthetic Options

Growing in popularity are synthetic roofing materials, which can offer the beauty and style of classics like slate and wood shingles, without the same level of maintenance or price tag. Synthetic materials are also typically designed to be fire-resistant, providing greater protection for homes. Due to the relative newness of these materials, they aren’t as tried and true as older options; however, most come with warranties for up to 50 years or so, depending on the manufacturer.

Weighing Your Options

Before deciding on the material you want to use for your next roofing project, make sure you think through some key details. Some of the things you should consider include the weight of the material you select, and if your current structure can properly support that weight. If not, additional construction may be necessary. Another detail often overlooked is building and fire codes for local areas – talk with your roofing contractor ahead of time to ensure you are completely complying with all codes.

Other details to think through include style options available in the material you like, average lifespan, warranties, proven performance based on region, and special maintenance requirements. Once you’ve worked through all of these details, you can have confidence knowing you have selected the best material for your project.

Top Roofing Materials

Still not sure what materials to go with? Talk with your local roofer, Semper Solaris, to get professional insight today.

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The Semper Cares Initiative was founded to help deserving veterans get relief from high electricity prices by blessing them with energy independence and the security of a secure roof over their heads.

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